Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Snow Zoo

We got more snow yesterday.  Thick, heavy, packing, snowman snow.  The kind that is hard to clear away, but fun to play in.  And that's what we did ☺

Where'd the driveway go?

 When I was a kid, we made a giant snow bear based on a figurine.  This inspired me to want to make snow creatures with the kids.

He was about 4 feet tall

It was hard to see the snow creatures in the pictures, so I had to darken the pictures and that wasn't so great for seeing the kids!  So I copied the kid in the picture, darkened the picture, and then pasted the non-darkened part with the kid in it!

Andy with his horse.

William with his hippos (mom and baby)

Emily with her unicorns (also a mom and baby)

The green in the snow is Emily's St. Patrick's Day necklace

Sarah with her triceratops

Our Snow Zoo

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Seed Starting by Gary Emmett

I love to garden and in the past have tried to start my own plants from seed.  Usually they end up dying before I get them planted or right after they are in the ground.  Another problem I run into is that my plants are gangly and leggy.   I wanted to try my hand at starting some heirloom seeds this year, but was a little apprehensive due to my past lack of success!   Enter, "Seed Starting" by Gary Emmett....

This was a very informative, easy to read book.  I found it very useful to know what I need to do to make my seed starting more successful.  Some of the points I found the most useful to me were:
  • when to start seeds inside (I usually start them all at the same time)
  • which seeds to just start outside and when (I thought you had to wait until after the last frost)
  • what kind of "soil" to use and not use (I've tried using garden soil before)
  • how to transplant the plants to larger containers (I usually just leave them in the original pot)
I'm excited to give the ideas presented in the book a try!  This book is good for absolute beginners as well as those (like me) who've done some seed starting before with limited success. 

"Seed Starting" is available on Amazon as a Kindle ebook (I used the Kindle for PC app) for $2.99.

I was provided a free copy of this book for my honest review.  I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

5 Weeks Until Easter

I guess that means I should get started on sewing Easter clothes!  Life always has a way of sneeking up on you when you're busy doing something else!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review: MamaJenn Blogging Planner

I have been blogging since June 2007, but never thought of using a blogging planner.  I'm not even sure I'd ever heard of them before!  The review group that I belong to assigned us the task of reviewing a blogging planner. 

I choose MamaJenn's Blogging Planner, which is a free download.  I printed all the odd pages first, but then because I was afraid that if I just stuck the whole stack back in and printed the even sides, it'd mess up the order and that I'd run out of ink before I even got January printed, I decided to print the even sides manually.  I grabbed the first page I'd printed and printed the next page on the back.  I printed January that way and decided that I would like it better if the "Blog Post Notes" page showed the same time as the "Giveaways/ Reviews" page.  So, I altered what order I was feeding the pages through when printing the even sides.   I went on my merry way printing with my "improved" order through May when I made another discovery....The "Monthly Blog Planning" page was visible at the same time as the "Monthly Blog Calendar" page for the next month!  I looked at MamaJenn's blog and realized that those two pages for the SAME month were supposed to be together!  I printed an extra "Notes" page on the back of June's "Monthly Blog Calendar" and then everything else fell into the right order!  At least the last half of the year will be the way it's supposed to be! 

My two main reasons for picking the MamaJenn Blogging Planner in the first place were:
1) The calendars were already dated and ready to use (ie.  I didn't have to hand write all those numbers!)
2) The Giveaways/Reviews pages

I tend to have tons of blog post ideas and never get around to actually blogging about them, or I forget to do it.  The "Monthly Blog Calendar" is great to help me keep on track and the "Monthly Blog Planning" page helps me to plan out what I want to blog about. I usually just come up with the content for my blog posts as I write them, but with the "Blog Post Notes" page, I can plan out what I'm going to say ahead of time and save time once I'm at the computer.  The "Giveaways/Reviews" page is wonderful for keeping track of my thoughts about a product while using it so I can remember them when it comes time to write the review!  It gives you a place to keep track of when the review is due, which is helpful to me so I don't forget to post it! I found that I needed more room for my notes on a product, so I printed an extra page of "Giveaways/Reviews" with an extra page of "Blog Post Notes" on the back to make sure I had plenty of room for my thoughts.

Each month's page has the same color flower.   It helps you know that you are on the right month and I liked the little pop of color on each page.  In the back of the planner, there are pages for "Future Blog Post Ideas", "Notes",  "Year at a Glance", and "Monthly Blog Statistics".  I have quite a few ideas already in the "Future Blog Post Ideas" and I like being able to track how many followers and page views I'm getting.
This is an awesome product and for free it's even better!  I really liked all the features of this planner and can't think of anything I'd change other than my issue with the size of the review sections (which may just mean I need to write down major points and not full thoughts!)
This is my honest opinion and I didn't receive anything in exchange for this review.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cosmic Quest Carnival

Our church's annual free kids carnival was Wednesday. This year's theme was "Cosmic Quest". So we all dressed up in "space" suits (except Emi who really wanted to wear the "Wolverine" costume!) My sister brought her working full sized R2D2. Sarah already has plans for next year for how she will be able to not miss any of the games.
The kids and me

My sister and her kids
Two Buzz Lightyear's!

Which prize do I want??